Skip to main content

Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

See other formats

184;                               LIFE  OF
surface of the moon, it will be comprehended what
important laws of terrestrial organisation cim be de-
duced and revealed by contemporary and comparative
observations over such a large field. The Kunsian
government at once acknowledged the importance of
these plans, and instituted a physical observatory in
St. Petersburg, whose task it was to choose the other
observatory stations, to compare and adjust the instru-
ments with which the experiments were to bo made,
accurately to determine the astronomical position rof
the stations selected, to superintend and direct the
magnetic and meteorologic researches, to arrange the
collected results, to calculate them, and to publish the
mean results.
The special mhieralogic geognostic experiences and
inquiries which had resulted from the Asiatic expe-
dition, were confided to the care of Gustav Rose, one
of Humboldt's companions.    His work appeared in
two volumes in the years 1837 and 1842, as a portion
of the collective work,* under the special title <fi JMino-
ralogicai geognostic  division and   historical  account
of the journey," and Humboldt  had given the com-
piler a large number of notes and observations from
his own diary.    But before the third part of the col-
lective  work  appeared,   which  was  to   contain the
botanic and zoological results arranged by Ehrenberg,
and the investigation into the geographic distribution
of plants and animals/Humboldt published another
new work under the title : " Asie centrale, rechorehes
sur les chaines des montagnes et la climatologie eom-
paree/' (Paris,  1843, in three volume^)  which was
soon afterwards enlarged and translated into German,
by W* Mahlmann.
This work is the real result of the studies, which
Humboldt had for many years devoted to this subject.
We have mentioned in former chapters, when he first
* The collective title runs thus; "Expedition to the Ural, tlia
Altai, and the Gaspian seas by command of his majesty tlxe Bmporor
of Russia, in the year 1820, made by Alexander -von Humboldt,
G* Ehrenberg1, and Gustav Rose*"